For the past three weeks, I've been going into a local K-12 charter school to teach Horticulture to 3rd and 4th grade students. Our 3-week long project was growing microgreens in each of the classrooms to teach kids about germination, parts of a plant and how we can eat plants in different ways to make meals healthier for us. The first time we went into the school and explained to the kids what we'd be doing and that we'd get to eat the microgreens on the last class day, there were a few "Well...I probably won't eat them..." mutters from a few of the kids. They think green, they think vegetable and they immediately throw up the red flag. However, you will probably hear this from anyone who grows food with kids, but if the kids grow something themselves, they have a MUCH larger chance of eating it. And I found this to absolutely true. The last day came, we harvest the microgreens (peas and sunflowers) and they went to town. They devoured the microgreens, going back for seconds and thirds. They were so excited at how good the greens tasted. "I didn't know you could eat sunflowers!" they squealed and some grabbed handfuls asking for a plastic bag to take them home in. I would consider that a success.
So, for the second part of my cute story, here's all the thank you notes me and my teaching partner received. They're great artists, and I was so happy to see some of them say that they were more inspired to garden. This solidifies my opinion that kids are more likely to garden when they have a teacher or mentor help them along. Do you help any of the kids in your life work in a garden and grow plants? I'd love to hear about it!